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EU Court Rules Social Networks Cannot Be Forced To Police Downloads 81

arnodf writes "According to EU Observer, 'The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has struck the latest blow in the debate over internet policing, ruling on Thursday (16 February) that online social network sites cannot be forced to construct measures to prevent users from downloading songs illegally. The court, which is the highest judicial authority in the EU, stated that installing general filters would infringe on the freedom to conduct business and on data privacy. ... The case was brought before the ECJ by Sabam, the Belgian national music royalty collecting society, against social network site Netlog. In 2009, Sabam went to the Belgian Court of First Instance to demand that Netlog take action to prevent site-users from illegally downloading songs from its portfolio. It also insisted that Netlog pay a €1,000 fine for every day of delaying in compliance. Netlog legal submission argued that granting Sabam's injunction would be imposing a general obligation to monitor on Netlog, which is prohibited by the e-commerce directive.' In related news, Sabam is going to be prosecuted (Google translation of Dutch original) for 'forging accounts, abuse of trust, bribery, money laundering and forgery,' which took place from the early 90's till 2007"
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EU Court Rules Social Networks Cannot Be Forced To Police Downloads

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  • Ruh roh!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AngryDeuce ( 2205124 ) on Friday February 17, 2012 @04:17PM (#39078541)

    Man, the MAFIAA is sure gonna be pissed about this!

    With every passing day, they become more and more irrelevant, and that's just fine with me...

  • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Friday February 17, 2012 @04:18PM (#39078551)

    1. Repeal DMCA.
    1a - codify the right to backup to secure one's purchase against accident as a fundamental, protected consumer RIGHT.
    2. Constitutionally amend to remove corporate personhood.
    3. Return copyright to sane bounds, possibly bounds based on the life of the medium it is published in (it is absurd that computer programs, coded for hardware that was obsolete and almost impossible to find 5 years after the writing of the software, are copyrighted till doomsday).

    Anyone else have items to add?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17, 2012 @04:22PM (#39078609)

    4. All buyers of electronic goods have the right to reverse engineer, bypass, overwrite and do what they bloody well please with their property.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17, 2012 @04:28PM (#39078701)

    > Repeal 'Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act' in the UK.
    Not a good idea . While it did have some horrible stuff in it, it also did actually set limits on police powers that were previously either unclear or being blatantly abused. Having a court (probably the European Court again) strike down the bad parts while leaving the rest would be a better approach.

  • Credibility (Score:4, Insightful)

    by g0bshiTe ( 596213 ) on Friday February 17, 2012 @04:31PM (#39078755)
    Sounds to me like 20 some years of dubious business practices anything the courts had to hear from these guys should never have made it that far. Sounds like they have no credibility.
  • Re:Go EU (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo ( 1000167 ) on Friday February 17, 2012 @04:34PM (#39078805)
    The U.S. (and possibly the U.K.) is the only country that will utterly destroy a person's life (financially that is) for a non-commercial download. Of the Western nations are concerned about copyright and imaginary property laws, lord knows we've ceased being competitive at much else. What we want/need is a modicum of perspective when enforcing the laws. Downloading something illegally should be seen as a speeding ticket, not a lifetime as a pauper.
  • Re:Ruh roh!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo ( 1000167 ) on Friday February 17, 2012 @04:36PM (#39078837)
    They'll die, but they'll go kicking, screaming, and destroying as many people as they can along the way. Kinda reminds me of a schoolyard bully, they have no problem fighting people as individuals, but as soon as those people band together the dinosaurs call foul.
  • by Brannoncyll ( 894648 ) on Friday February 17, 2012 @06:32PM (#39080145)

    Search Engines and Youtube are- not really considered part of a social network. As it is, EU appears to have a real hard-on about going after Google or other American businesses. So, will EU extend this new ruling to You Tube/Search engines?

    I don't think the EU go after American businesses in particular. You will likely find that the reason you hear about so many American businesses getting into trouble in Europe is that a lot of Americans are very anti-Europe and thus kick up a lot of fuss when they see them challenging anything remotely American. Just look at the amount of anti-Europe rhetoric (ZOMG he speaks French?!?!) in the Republican primaries, or the anger levelled at Britain after the BP oil spill (BP operates in over 80 countries and has its largest division in the US).

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers